Race forum draws dozens from the community

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Around 100 people gathered at the Lucy F. Simms Continuing Education Center on Monday night for a discussion about race relations in the Shenandoah Valley.

The Harrisonburg-Rockingham NAACP chapter sponsored the forum called "Let's Talk About Race," which offered a non-confrontational opportunity to tackle tough topics relating to race.

The discussion was facilitated by Chanda McGuffin, the co-founder of RISE.

Attendees split into five groups to discuss the issues of Confederate flags, mass incarceration, racism, equality, and bridging the gap in the community.

Several community leaders were in attendance, including school board officials, police, and council members.

McGuffin said she hopes the discussion will lead to action in the community.

"This was the largest crowd I've ever had for a workshop. It was such a powerful time," said McGuffin. "Hopefully when they leave here, they've got something so they can get started on their next step."

McGuffin plans to hold a follow-up workshop in the future.